Some words are meant to be eaten.
So far, inasmuch as I'm concerned, 2012 can go die in a fire. Nothing much good has happened in my life, and it's mostly been a whole lot of shyte.
But I'm not here to talk about that: enough of 2012. Instead let us fast-forward four years to 2016. Specifically, May 1st, 2016. 50 months from
In the aforementioned missive in which I bid adieu to 2011, I promised an expansion on my plans to bike across Russia. The same plans that have been idling away on the back burner of "yeah, yeah, I'll get around to that someday" for a good FOURTEEN YEARS now.
Seriously, I hatched this plan shortly following my cross-Canada bike trip in the fall of 1997: for a length of time that's rapidly approaching half of my life, I've been planning to do this, but only in a time frame no more definite than "sometime before I die."
Well, no more*:
I has a plan! It's a nice long 5-year plan, but hey. And there's admittedly a lot of stuff at the end of said 5 years, and not so much at the beginning. But the part at the beginning is proceeding apace. Also as of a couple of days ago — precisely 10% of the way into that big green bar titled "Save Money" — I put the 5000th dollar into my specal bank account that I've set up for this, right on schedule. So by early 2016 I should have $50k (plus interest, but with interest rates at approximately zero, I'm not really paying much attention to that.)
With any luck, all that other stuff will happen according to schedule as well.
So come May 1st 2016, I embark on the red section of that Gantt chart, otherwise known as the "fun part":
My plan has always been to start in the east, at Владивосток, and move west towards Europe. That way I get past all the difficult parts — with hundreds of km between towns and potentially unfinished highways and local politicians demanding bribes to "expedite" the processing of infractions of made-up-on-the-spot regulations and god knows what other obstacles — first, while I still have flexibility in both my budget and schedule.
Going across Canada west→east, then South America east→west has pretty much confirmed that this is the wrong way of doing it, and I'm sure I will regret it, but shrug. We'll see.
So ANYway, 14,473km later (according to Google, with a bit of manual tweaking where I know it's on crack, or is taking me via routes I don't really want to take), I end up in Portugal's Douro Valley, where I sure hope I will have enough unspent money left to gorge on some delicious, delicious port. (Russia's wine offerings I expect to be... underwhelming... compared to Chile's and Argentina's.)
14-and-a-half-thousand kilometres, at a rate of 80km a day, gives almost exactly 6 months. I'm sure I will be doing less than that at first, but hopefully a fair bit more once I really get into things. That has been my experience on the bike trips I've done in the past, anyway. And as always, I can always take the bus if I start falling behind; especially once I get into Europe. That 6-month schedule gets me to Budapest and then southern Europe, which is to say, warmer climes, by mid-September before the potentially cold weather sets in.
At any rate: 6 months later, after blowing whatever remains of my budget on Port, I guess I come home.
And, uh. Start planning for how I'm going to bike the Pan-American Highway. (Prudhoe Bay, AK to the Tierra del Fuego, baby!)
In the meantime, all I gotta do is figure out what I'ma do with my two antisocial cats for six months.
* After all, I've always said I hoped I died before I got old.